Counseling Health and Wellness Center

Counseling

Mission

The mission of the Counseling component of the Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center is to provide a welcoming environment for William Paterson University students.  The Counseling Center staff members facilitate students' personal, social, and intellectual growth, as well as adjustment to and engagement within the university community.  Students are assisted with identifying and working through personal barriers, normal developmental issues and stressors, and clinical problems which could impede academic success.

The Counseling Center is staffed with psychologists, social workers, a psychiatrist consultant, and supervised graduate students.

Services

  • Individual Counseling
  • Psychiatric Services
  • Crisis Management
  • Consultation
  • Alcohol & Drug Assessment

Examples of concerns students come to the Counseling Center for:

  • Academic stress
  • Time management
  • Concerns with self-esteem/self-doubt
  • Issues facing those identifying as transgender or gender non-conforming
  • Difficulties with friends or family
  • Unhappiness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Poor decision making
  • Eating-related problems
  • Assertiveness and conflict resolution
  • Anger management
  • Communication in relationships
  • Alcohol and drug use

FAQs about Counseling

 

How do I make an appointment?

Any currently registered student can call our appointment line at 973-720-2257, or come in person during normal business hours to request an appointment with a counselor.  You will be asked to complete a brief screening questionnaire about your current concerns via phone or in person before scheduling your first appointment.  Please note that the individual seeking counseling MUST schedule a counseling appointment directly.  Same day appointments are available for mental health emergencies.

Concerned parents, staff, or faculty seeking emergency referrals for a student should call the center to seek consultation first before referring a student for a same day appointment.  Please ask to speak to the Triage Counselor at 973-720-2257.

 

Is there a cost?

The CHWC does not charge any fees for counseling sessions at this time.

 

What happens when I come in for the first appointment?

Please come in 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to complete all intake paperwork.  Your first visit with a counselor will consist of a 30-minute consultation visit.  During the visit, you will have an opportunity to discuss your primary presenting concerns, learn about the counseling process, and explore options for treatment interventions and other university supports that may be of assistance to you.  After the visit, you can make an informed choice about participating in ongoing counseling at our center or follow up with any external referrals provided to you by the counselor.

 

What can I expect from counseling?

The process of counseling requires a purposed and collaborative relationship between you and the counselor to address an identified problem or barrier affecting your personal functioning.  Counseling is an educational, solution focused, and growth oriented process that may help increase your sense of self-efficacy and perspective to cope with or resolve the presenting concerns.

During the course of counseling, you and your therapist will determine goals and contract to work during a specific number of sessions to promote growth.  The CHWC utilizes a short-term treatment approach and treatment interventions will vary depending on the student and presenting issue.

Counseling sessions can terminate at any point during the semester as a result of mutual consent between the student and counselor, consecutive nonattendance of visits, need for longer-term referrals or referrals for specialized care beyond the scope of services the CHWC can provide.  Specific conditions for termination can be discussed during the initial visit.

 

What happens if I have an emergency and need to reach a counselor?

The CHWC provides a 24 hour emergency counselor service at 973-720-2257.  The CHWC contracts with an answering service that operates during evenings, weekends and holidays to receive emergency calls.  When you call the service, a counselor will be paged and return your call as quickly as possible.  The full time clinical staff provides coverage to the on call on a rotating basis.

The purpose of the on call service is to help provide students, families and the campus community with consultation and referral during a mental health emergency.  It is not a substitute for ongoing therapy appointments.

 

Is information about my counseling appointments shared with anyone else?

Information about your attendance or participation in counseling is protected under federal HIPPA law.  No counseling or health related information can be provided to any university or outside entity without your signed consent.  However, emergency personnel may be notified in cases where a student makes a direct threat of homicide or suicide in accordance with NJ state law.

 

I received a call or message from a counselor asking to speak with me.  Why did this happen?

There may be a time when you receive a call or message via the heath portal from our center because a member of the campus community has expressed some concern about your wellbeing and asked that we reach out to you.  We view these contacts as opportunities for us to provide information to you about our services and to offer you support.  Please take the time to return our call or message.